In a recent informal conversation, some classmates of mine got talking about age: age for marriage, age for having children. As always, I tend to feel more and more strained on this topic, seeing that my classmates are almost a decade younger than me.

As an example of this age-gap, by the time I was doing graduate work, my classmates weren’t even finished grade nine. Now, this admission might seem forced, but it also reveals something that I’ve been dealing with, namely, my pride.

For some silly reason, I start to feel sorry for myself. I feel as though I’m so old to be in school again; I feel as though I ought to have these “ducks” lined up and “those matters” taken care of by now, but I don’t. Yet, I remember being a young whipper-snapper, aged 24, thinking, gee, this PhD student is over 30 (and I thought that was old!). Here I am approaching mid-thirties, thinking, gee, so that’s what it’s like on the other end of things!

If you’re visiting this blog because of the search term, then I want you to know this one important message: all of the vectors in our lives are varied and different. I am a firm believer in doing the unusual thing and not the ordinary. As a result, however, sometimes my mind wonders what it would have been like had I taken a more ordinary life. And that’s where I start to feel red all over out of pride.

This idea that we can create our own lives is the root problem for me; God plans our steps. So when I think about what I could have done, that’s simply foolhardy. I couldn’t have done that because God had other things planned for me. In fact, He had greater things planned for me, namely, salvation.

The plain fact is, I ended up finishing graduate school and going to China on a whim, in a matter of weeks, and with no real idea of what was going on. I was hurled into a classroom to teach English, and off I went. Some time in between I was introduced to the Bible, I read, I wrestled with God, and I got saved. Yes, salvation was in His plan for me and I had no idea what was going on.

So all those vectors I talked about earlier, the projections of life’s expectations, the plans that we make as young optimists, all are wishful thinking. God’s vector is what counts.

Age has no bearing on God’s vector. That’s my revelation! We like to think that there are certain vectors that are commonly taken (courtship, marriage, career, promotions, children, etc…), but those are entirely misleading. I have to admit that I envy those people who set out knowing what it is they want to do in life, and they stick it out. I envy those who have a clear picture of where they want to be and how they’re going to do it. But I shouldn’t envy them if they don’t have God, should I?

For without God, where would I be now? Would I celebrate the joy of marriage, of parenthood, of school (again)? Would I worship in tears, or read words of wisdom and encouragement?